One Direction: The Boy Band Image

I was listening to music on Youtube when I came across this ad for a boy band named One Direction (seen on the left and right sides of the video). I had no idea who One Direction was before this so I was initially confused as to why five young boys were all staring at me (though admittedly I probably wouldn’t think twice if they were girls). This ad conflicts with what Berger writes when he says that “men act and women appear”. These boys are nothing but heads simply appearing at the side of the screen. What image are these boys selling? Well first of all they aren’t boys. One is eighteen, three are nineteen, and one is twenty. At those ages, all of them can be assumed to be sexually active or at least interested in it yet they are portrayed as virginal boys. They gaze passively. They are just perfectly manicured heads. The boy featured top left has unnaturally red lips and a slightly feminine demeanor. They are all white (though Zayn Malik, bottom left, is actually part Pakistani and noticeably so in other photos). This adds to their purity image. As the boys take on all these inactive qualities they seem to simply “appear”.

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